Babakhani Leads, Mercier Hovers with 24 Left at WPT Championship

Amir Babakhani (Photo: WPT Spring Championship)

Amir Babakhani is eyeing an amazing WPT back-to-back at the WPT Championship in Las Vegas, holding down the chip lead with just 24 players left.

Winner of the WPT Spring Championship in Montreal just over a week ago, Babakhani clearly hasn't lost his momentum as he held his own again today amongst a star-studded field.

Despite a swingy day early Babakhani charged up the ranks late, stacking Phil Hellmuth among others to bag up 1,220,000.

He has a slight edge heading into Day 4 on veteran pro Brandon Steven who sits in second with 1,091,000. Matt Hyman is the only other player to crack the million-chip mark, ending the day in third with 1,042,000.

Hyon Kim (891,000), Alex Phahurat (878,000) and WPT Montreal winner Jonathan Roy (824,000) round out the current top six.

Mercier, Lindgren, Negreanu Survive

While big names hit the rail at a furious pace all day there are still plenty left in the mix at Bellagio.

Andy Frankenberger (811,000), Steven "Zugwat" Silverman (749,000) and Dan Shak (698,000) all bagged up nice-sized stacks while Jason Mercier, coming off a fantastic EPT Grand Final, is just below average with 583,000.

Jason Mercier
Run-good returns for Mercier.

Erick Lindgren (467,000), Jake Cody (365,000), Daniel Negreanu (329,000) and Andrew Lichtenberger (137,000) all survived to see another day as well.

The top 10 in chips heading to Day 4:

  • 1. Amir Babakhani 1,220,000
  • 2. Brandon Steven 1,091,000
  • 3. Matt Hyman 1,042,000
  • 4. Hyon Kim 891,000
  • 5. Alex Phahurat 878,000
  • 6. Jonathan Roy 824,000
  • 7. Andy Frankenberger 811,000
  • 8. Steven Silverman 749,000
  • 9. Jeffrey Ishbia 705,000
  • 10. Dan Shak 698,000

Among the many notables to hit the rail today were Dan O'Brien, Marvin Rettenmaier, WPT POY favorite Matt Salsberg, Yevgeniy Timoshenko, Faraz Jaka, Hellmuth and Antonio Esfandiari.

Play picks up again from Vegas at noon local time tomorrow; tune in to the WPT Live Updates for all the action. Watch Jeanine Deeb's days-end interview with Babakhani below:

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